Thin films made by reactive sputtering of high entropy alloy FeCoNiCuGe: Optical, electrical and structural properties
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThin Solid Films. 2022, 744 (139083), 1-16. 10.1016/j.tsf.2022.139083
Films were reactively sputtered from a high entropy alloy (HEA) FeCoNiCuGe target in an Ar/O2 plasma. The case of zero O2 gas flow yielded HEA films of FeCoNiCuGe. These as-deposited HEA films have a face centered cubic (FCC) structure, showing a texture with columnar grains containing many planar defects. The residual electrical resistivity of the films is around 225 μΩcm and the temperature dependence of the resistivity is metal-like. The temperature coefficient of resistivity is small (4.5 ppm/K). The Hall coefficient is positive while the Seebeck coefficient is negative. This is interpreted as arising from an electronic structure having both holes and electrons at the Fermi level as indicated by band structure calculations. The HEA FCC structure is unstable upon annealing in forming gas and showed demixing. Annealing in O2 also yielded inhomogeneous oxides, with a thick layer of CuO growing on the surface. The cases of reactive sputtering with an oxygen flow yielded oxides that are either nanocrystalline or amorphous dependent upon the sputter conditions. These can be classified as high entropy oxides (HEO) and have an optical bandgap around 1.9 eV and high transmission in the infrared region. The amorphous HEO has an electrical conduction interpreted as due to variable range hopping described by the Efros–Shklovskii theory. The HEO films were reduced in forming gas. For the amorphous HEO film, the reduction at 300–500 °C yielded hexagonal Ni5Ge2 and an FCC phase. For the nanocrystalline HEO, reduction resulted in creation of FCC and body centered cubic HEA metal phases.